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>> the algerian military says the gunmen took hundreds of hostages and are still holed up inside. you are watching al jazeera live from doha. also on the program, -- >> did you ever take. substances to enhance your performance? >> yes. gowe're interrupting this to to a live picture from london where david cameron is making a statement about the hostage crisis in algeria. >> the families are waiting anxiously for news and those who
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are lost loved ones. i have shared another meeting of the emergency committee and had just come from speaking to the algerian prime minister. let me take the house through what we believe has happened, the steps we're taking, and what this means for our security and the fight against terrorism around the world. early wednesday, terrorists attacked a gas installation run by bp and an algerian company in southeastern a algeria near the libyan border. the terrorist group is believed to have been operating under a criminal terrorist smuggling group that has been operating for a number of years and has been affiliated with al qaeda. the location is 18 hours from the capital of algeria. it is in the middle of the sahara desert in one of the most remote places in the world. it takes time to get a complete
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picture and full details are still emerging. according to the information we have from the algerian authorities, the terrorists first attacked two buses on the way to the airfield before the residential compound and gas facility. it appears to have been a large, well coordinated and heavily armed assault. it is probable if had been planned. two of those traveling were killed, including one british national. his delaware inform on wednesday. a number of other workers were taken hostage. his family was informed on wednesday. a number of other workers were taken hostage. the precise numbers involved remained unclear as this stage. the hostages include irish nationals and nationals of replaced -- british nationals, other nationals, and the algerians. we implemented crisis procedures
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in london and algeria. our immediate priority was to establish the dignity and whereabouts of british nationals, to contact their families, and everything possible to secure the safe return. i chaired a meeting of the emergency committee. i spoke to the algerian prime minister on wednesday afternoon and on three other occasions. from the outset, i have a clear about our opposition to terrorism and have said we will stand with the algerians in their fight against these terrorist forces. i have also emphasized the paramount importance of securing the safety of the hostages. offered technical and intelligence support to help find a successful resolution. i urge that we and other countries should be consulted before any action was taken. i also spoke to the leaders of other countries that have hostages taken including the japanese prime minister, no region. mr. -- and president obama.
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offered for their support in dealing with the situation. on thursday morning the algerian forces mounted an operation. we were not informed of this in advance. i was told by the algerian prime minister while was taken place. he said the terrorists tried to flee. they just there to be an immediate threat to the lives of hostages and felt obliged to respond. when i spoke to the algerian minister last night, he told me the first operation was complete but this is a large and complex area and they're still pursuing terrorists and possibly hostages in other areas of the site. the algerian prime minister has told me they are looking at four possible ways to resolve the crisis. last night, the number of british citizens out risk was less than 30. thankfully, we know the number has been significantly reduced. i am sure the house will understand why during an ongoing
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operation cannot say more this stage. mr. speaker, our priority remains the safety of british nationals, the repatriation of those killed, and the evacuation of the wounded and freed hostages. the rapid deployment team is on the way to a jury with other specialists. the prime minister has agreed to grant access to our staff to fly south as soon as possible to support those involved. i have spoken with bp last night and this morning. we are working closely on their evacuation plans and have put additional civilian aircraft on standby to assist with the evacuation plans if needed. mr. speaker, we need to be clear who's fault this is. it is the terrorists responsible for the attack and the loss of life. the action of these extremists can never be justified. we will be resolute to fight terrorism and stand with the algerian government, who have paid a heavy price over many
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years fighting against a savage terrorist campaign. this is a continuing situation. we will do our best to keep parliament and the public updated. we hope this will reach a conclusion shortly. there will be a moment to learn the necessary lessons. i commend this statement to the house. >> that was the british prime minister speaking about the hostage crisis in algeria with 34 workers and gas facility killed. lauren joins us from outside the house of commons. what has david cameron been saying? >> the most significant thing is he has given a detailed explanation of the understanding of the course of the events from the point of view of britain and every other country that has citizens in their.
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the fact he said in parliament means this is what they have been told and they believe this is true. the most significant thing was that he said openly he had asked the algerian government to be told before they went in what was going to happen, but they were not told. he was told while the operation was going on. we know they are dismayed but very angry. they are angry the operation was carried out and seems to have been badly done leading to many civilian deaths without the prior knowledge. as of now, it appears the operation is not over and there may be hostages and hostage- takers still on the site. the british government has offered logistical support. you can absolutely guarantee the british and other governments
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will tell the algerian government you will not do something like this again without telling us first because we want to make sure we have every opportunity to try to talk to the hostage takers and go through negotiations with them before trying to do other rescue. the question is open. does the american plane have security forces in it as well as the new rescue the 04 americans? are of the special forces there as well? we do not know. they will not say. it is an ongoing situation. it is not finished. the biggest thing implicit in what david cameron said is a message to the algerian government to not go blow of any more jeeps with hostages before consulting us. we have a better understanding of how to do this. >> this is a hugely significant
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for britain. the whole incident has been shrouded in uncertainty. why has the algerian military and government not been more forthcoming with the governments of the hostages? >> the algerian government is clearly a secretive. it has an ongoing fight against islamists. there is different colonial legacy as well. -- there is the french colonial legacy as well. they felt they had let western governments know what they were doing in the saharan desert. the problem for western governments is a demand to be kept in the loop for diplomatic protocol and the heavens -- when they have civilians inside these situations. that has not happened. the americans and japanese have said the scene in the british government has said.
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we believe there are still british and others from other countries. david kennedy said they believe 30 british citizens were killed. he said the -- david cameron said they believe 30 british citizens were killed. that number has gone down. others are unaccounted for. all these governments will have said to the of during government, we do not understand why you did not tell us, but you have to tell us now. you have to be more open about what you are doing and what you plan to do so more civilians are not killed. >> thank you for joining us from outside the house of commons in london. the u.n. refugee agency expects 700,000 people in mali to become displaced as the fighting intensifies. a growing international mission of trying to stop the advance of rebel fighters related to al qaeda troops have been deployed
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from the capital to heavy fighting reported in and around the rebel town. we have recently learned the army has taken that full control of one area. they will go north to reclaim the rebel-held territory. the first west african forces have arrived in mali. the forces from nigeria will join the contention of other nations. it will send at least 2000 soldiers over the next nine days. the army has secured a strategic bridge north of the capital with the help of the french. the bridge spans the river that separates the southern part of mali, still under government control, from the rubble-held north. mali forces are gathering near the central town held by rebel
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fighters. they are expected to launch further attacks against them of the fighting intensifies. the man stripped of seven titles has finally confirmed what many suspected, that he used performance enhancing drugs. in an interview with oprah winfrey, lance armstrong admitted he lied about cheating for years and will lead people into keeping quiet. rob reynolds reports from los angeles. >> lance armstrong finally admitting he cheated and lied. >> did you ever take banned distances to enhance your performance? >> yes. >> he admitted he used banned instances all seven times he won and offered this explanation. >> for you, whatever the flaws that may be willing to risk it all?
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>> i think a roofless desire to win at all costs. >> he was stripped of his titles and banned from the sport for life in october after a report by the agency detailed how he masterminded one of the most sophisticated doping schemes in the history of professional sports. he denied dumping allegations for a decade. -- doping allegations for a decade. cyclists reacted to his submissions. >> i still respect him as an athlete. >> the message is you can sheet, like, and get over it. >> i am not surprised. >> he is far from the only professional cyclists who has engaged in doping says one of the founders of modern drug- testing in modern sports. >> we know cycling has the
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largest problem among all sports. that is not to say there are not others involved. there are techniques their lead to be winners. people like to be winners. >> testosterone used testosterone, and blood transfusions, and a drug called epo developed to treat anemia. >> it turns on cells that make red blood cells. those cells carry oxygen. the oxygen puts fuel that drives the body. >> armstrong is already being sued by a fellow cyclist. he could face criminal prosecution by the u.s. justice department on fraud charges. he could also be required to pay back some of the more than $30 million he and his team received from their sponsor, u.s. postal service. al jazeera, los angeles. >> protests in the pakistan
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capital have ended. the government reached a deal with the leader of the demonstrators. farmers in peru are putting the agricultural future of the country in jeopardy. >> if you are crossing the u.k. right now, you know is snowing. that will continue through friday. toward scotland, the tigers are love in the snow. they are meant for this type of weather. temperatures got down to - 4. these tigers can handle up to - 40 degrees because of their thick coat. toward saturday, things will be clearing across the u.k. down here is where the rain is going to be a major problem,
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especially in northern portugal and northern spain. we expect to see up to 150 kiloliters of rain in the next few days. across northern africa, who did see some clouds across libya. it is clearing out across benghazi. toward tripoli, which expect to see -- we expect to see 20 as well. that will last the next couple days. toward nigeria, we expect to see rain the next few days.
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down the mountain. we are determined to stop them. >> saturday at 8:00 eastern. >> it is good to have you with us. a reminder of the top stories on al jazeera. the british prime minister has briefed the house of commons on the hostage crisis in nigeria. david cairns says the hostage takers are believed to be holed up in these are hard. they have enlisted hundreds of come -- workers from the country. the u.n. says 700,000 people in molly could become displaced over the coming months.
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the cycling world's biggest car has admitted he cheated in all seven of his wins. lance armstrong told oprah winfrey used performance enhancing drugs and lied about it for years. the latest data out of china suggests the world's second biggest economy may be getting back on track. analysts have welcomed the news. some have cast doubt over the reliability of the figures. >> they call it the world factor. china has the world's second- largest economy. it is showing signs of rebound that could help it emerge from the worst economic downturn in 30 years. it is good news in the economy that has stagnated. economic stability is vital as the new leaders takeover. there are questions over whether some of the figures tell the whole truth. last month, the export figures
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had controversy as some experts call in numbers incredible. the figures increased by 14.1% in december. in november, it was just 2.9%. the data is important because it indicates how china is doing and how much money people will want to invest. china says the figures are reliable. >> there are a lot of debates about how accurate the chinese data are. in general, it is problematic. if you compare china to other developing countries, chinese statistics are of the best quality among these countries. >> other analysts are skeptical saying they can verify the figures from other sources in the figures do not match. >> the numbers china reports on international trade can be easily verified because there are other countries that trade with china. other figures can be
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independently verified. companies in the stock market least reliable figures. they can tell us how much they are using in transportation and shipping costs. all of these things can be put together a in the puzzle to try to figure out the validity or the strength of the data released by the chinese. >> other analysts believe the discrepancy can be explained by beijing insisting the provincial government in charge of exports get 10% growth. to do that, exporters may have to send goods ahead of time to get the numbers up. the discrepancy and disbelief will have an impact on the markets. given the sheer size and power of china, it is a problem the country thinks it can avoid. >> japanese automakers and pay compensation to the family of two people killed in a car
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accident three years ago. they died when the toyota camry expected we slammed into a wall. it is the first settlement for hundreds of deaths. toyota did not say how much it paid. last month, agreed to pay $1 billion to resolve claims. u.s. aviation authorities are in japan to inspect the streamlining that made an emergency landing on wednesday after a battery caught fire. japanese officials have released a picture of the burned battery from the jet. others have been grounded pending checks. boeing maintains the airplanes are safe and will be back in the skies soon. several areas in jakarta are under water. more rain is expected. overdevelopment is being blamed
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for some of the worst flooding in five years. at least 11 people have died. more than 20,000 people have been displaced. the pakistani government has reached a deal to into -- end mass protests. tens of thousands of people called on the governor to step down as a supreme court issued arrest charges on corruption charges. >> after days of protests in islamabad, they made a deal with the same prime minister and he accused of not having any moral authority after the judgment of the court instructed the national accountability. to arrest him and others accused. they gave an ultimatum to the government. the government was quick to respond by sending a delegation of coalition partners and
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accepted the demands. the opposition is saying the whole affair was managed by the ruling party. women and children were used as human shields and there is much criticism about the way the whole thing was done. there is also criticism of the government is unable to a rest is spread minister -- its prime minister. there is news one of the investigating officers conducting the inquiry into corruption was found dead hanging from a ceiling fan. there are suspicions there may be more to his suicide than what is reported. >> parliament has voted to launch criminal investigations into allegations of cover-ups by officials. the former greek finance minister is one of those accused. he insists he is innocent. we have this report from athens. >> the former finance minister
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will not have been surprised at the are, of the thursday vote, the motion to subject him to in korea has come from the governing coalition itself. earlier, he accepted a share of political responsibility for the mishandling of the lagaurd list, but he said he is being made a scapegoat. " i am the victim of an effort to incriminate me. >> the claims against him are criminal. if charges are brought, he could go to jail. he denies allegations he tampered with the list to remove the names of his own. he insists the list could have been better handled by the government. this is julie is saying he should not go down alone. -- he is essentially saying he should not go down alone. >> parties on the right and left agreed. they have submitted motions for others. the result is an ever deepening public mistrust of the
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mainstream parties will support for parties on both extremes likely to grow. the list was intended to help greeks recoup tax revenue. it could reap political crisis instead. >> australia's most notorious outlaw and folk hero will finally get a funeral. that is 152 years after he died. his descendants held a memorial service on friday. his remains will be buried without his skull, which is believed to have been stolen. he was hanged in 1884 killing three policemen. he was buried in an unmarked prison grave. his remains were only identified two years ago. there has been a sharp rise in the number of murders in the mexican capital in the last few weeks. the government says it is part of normal trend. the others say the drug gangs have begun fighting for parts of
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mexico city. >> this is one of the most violent neighborhoods in mexico city. police are stopping vehicles to look for weapons and contraband. the surge in violence in mexico city has some business leaders openly questioning if that means the drug cartels are operating in fighting for turf in the capital. that is something the mayor of mexico city denies. he says this is common crime on the streets of mexico. we are seeing leaders in the state saying it is a battle for tariff -- turf between two battling cartels. that is acceptable. what is not acceptable is any admission we might have cartels fighting for turf in the capital. in recent years thousands have been left dead. mexico city has been a relative safe haven that has not seen the
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levels of violence seen elsewhere. >> water resources in peru are drying up so fast that in three years, one region may no longer be able to produce any crops. the main culprit is the demand for asparagus. >> it is harvest time on the farm. workers cut down spears of the spirit is one by one. -- spears of asparagus one by one. it is the leading exporter of the spring vegetable. it may not be for much longer it needs lots of water to flourish. the only water comes
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